MayOrWest - We, The End (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


We, The End (2009)


MayOrWest might allude to Family Guy in their band name, but We, The End is decidedly less satiric and much more serious than that sense of humor might hint at. Frankly, one hopes the Hoboken, NJ band's full-length isn't at all satiric.

We, The End essentially sounds like a much, much poorer and way, way less exciting version of Thursday somewhere between Waiting and Full Collapse--subtracting the screams. Back in 2004 (in fact, this album looks and sounds like it fell out of 2003), hearing a corroded, murderous scream against nasal melodic vocals had become an incredible banality. Six years later, I never thought I'd find myself hoping a band actually had those screams, but bassist Adam Ramsden's relatively dull and flavor-less voice wholly lacks a dynamism that's made all the more painfully obvious by not having anyone contrast him significantly. Sure, guitarist Eric Lewy provides some assistance here and there, but he doesn't sound all that different and there's not much of a punch to what he does, either; it just makes We, The End all the more tedious of a listen.

MayOrWest's arrangements dabble in unimaginative stop-start guitars with virtually no color to them. The melodies are inherently languid and what few other elements the band try adding fall similarly flat--whether that be the gang shouts in "Icarus" or the layering lead riff in "L.A.S.H.," which just sounds sloppy and phoned in. The moment in "Hotter in the Handcuffs" where Ramsden mutters, "You look so good... C'mon, shout it out" straight-up elicits douchechills.

There's quiet glimmers of something better in both "Look at Us" and "Devil's in the Details." Although it sounds like Ramsden drank a huge glass of orange juice just before he tracked his vocals, "Look at Us" has these restrained bits leading to a more energetic chorus; I feel like if a producer really kicked their ass and tightened the arrangements it would be a pretty good one. Ramsden also needs to sound way less reserved and it would make the chorus that much more effective; the ending is terrible, though, with the chorus abruptly leading to a fade-out. Lame. In "Devil's in the Details" it sounds like the band's on to something when they hit double-time and Ramsden is transitioning between this yell ("Chalk outlines trace the path of your innocence") and what I'd generously describe as a frustrated snarl ("Keep your face washed in pure white")--but the level of execution certainly isn't what one would hope it'd be. The buildup for closer "The Return" has potential--if all the individual elements were stronger, it's easy to hear it making a more lasting impact.

We, The End is clearly, inherently flawed, but this isn't an all-hope-lost case, either. MayOrWest just has a lot of work cut out for them.

Devil's in the Details
Scream Therapy